I mentioned a couple of days ago that Ryan and I are going to attempt to get rid of about half our apartment in the coming year, and today I want to talk a little more about that. I'm sure some of you are probably flabbergasted by that statement, or think that we're some kind of loonies, or think we're doing this because it's the new year (and that's what people do). There may be some truth to all of those thoughts, but this decision goes much deeper. There is a very practical end goal for me, and a very personal one.
First, we are a small family of 3 (Ryan, myself, and Nellie), but we currently live in a three bedroom apartment. Not just any three bedroom apartment though, a large three bedroom apartment that is bigger than a lot of our friends' homes. I'm not bragging, I'm embarrassed by this. There is no reason for us to rent so much space, 2 people and a dog should require much less.
Currently both Ryan and I have our own rooms for art and music, and though that has been a wonderful perk of our living situation, it's a little unnecessary. Both of our rooms are so full that we don't even have a guest bed. On top of the art and music room we have an eat in kitchen, a separate dining room, two walk in closets, several other storage spaces, and again they are all full. We're certainly not hoarders, but we've accumulated a lot of fluff and excess furnishings that need to be shed. By getting rid of half the stuff we could potentially move into a nicer 1 bedroom apartment, and potential save money by doing so.
My second reason for downsizing is the emotional toll that having an excess of stuff can have on a person. Holding onto knickknacks or things with no purpose in our life binds us to them and creates an unhealthy attachment. We can't take anything with us when we die, so why fight and grasp for it while we're here? In addition to being attached to objects in an unhealthy way, I also think it attaches us to negative memories, and parts of our past that can hold us back from realizing our full potential.
For example, I was looking through my "memory" box and noticed a giant manilla folder that my mom had filled with old report cards, and classroom assignments. In the midst of all the glowing teacher reviews, and colored pages were a few handwriting samples that I'd received poor marks on. I instantly thought about my handwriting, and how much I dislike. In my head I started imagining ways to improve, wondering if my handwriting was holding me back. When really at this point my handwriting is my handwriting sloppy or not. Seeing those old grades sent me down a negative spiral of self doubt, and over analysis. Why let two bad grades from 2nd grade bring me down now? By cleaning out those folders, and only keeping one or two things I'm releasing myself from some negative feelings/memories. Sometimes the negative things in our past have no place in our current situation. They need to be tossed, and forgotten.
Outside of the space issues, and the emotional issues there's also this key fact: Ryan and I didn't pick out our current apartment together. I had lived in the apartment for a year before we were married. As silly as it may seem I've always felt like our apartment has been divided between his things, and my things. So, it's my hope that at the end of this downsizing we can find a place where both of us feel contented and happy as a couple. I no longer want there to be "Ryan things" and "Bekuh things," just "Our things." It's going to be challenging, painful, and at times maddening, but in the end its going to be totally worth it. I hope you'll join us as we downsize in 2013. big kiss, bekuh